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Author Topic: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer  (Read 2558 times)

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Offline Kitzy

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #60 on: April 29, 2021, 07:28:12 AM »
Thanks guys. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I packed up my stuff and left yesterday after one last detail. It was kind of sad because believe it or not, I was really enjoying what I was doing even though it wasn't exactly the quality level I was used to at home. And I really liked the guys in Service that I worked beside.

Something interesting happened during the day yesterday though. First, I found out the Used Car Manager and the Service Manager went to bat for me with the new corporate owner and his staff. Believe it or not, the owner did remember me and his promise that I would have a job going forward.

First, the Service Manger introduces me to the VP of Service (his new boss) and we have a really, really nice conversation. He profusely apologized for what happened and said that was not the way it was supposed to go down. He did say he could not change the fact that they were not going to do their own detailing at our dealership, but he had some openings at other dealerships they owned near us - like right across the street at a Dodge dealership. He also offered a possibility of detailing customer cars at their BMW and Mercedes dealerships across town. I thanked him for taking the time to personally come talk to me, then asked if I could take a week or two to unwind, catch up on a few things, then get back to him. He was good with that.

A little while later, the Used Car Manager brings another suit and tie type over to my bay and introduces me to his new corporate boss. We have almost the exact same conversation.  Just like the last guy, this guy seems pretty darn decent and sincere about me finding a job somewhere in their (29 store) organization. Wow! Again, I asked if I could take a week or two to mull things over and he's good with it.

So my take away(s) are that 1) Good work does get recognized and valued - even if you think it doesn't. 2) Now I have to decide if I want to keep doing dealer detailing or try something else since so many places are hiring for all kinds of jobs right now. Your thoughts?
I’m a little late to the party since working nights and being all messed up.  I don’t think anyone can advise you on what to do at this point.  You seemed ready to step away from dealerships and now you’re possibly willing to go back.  Is it the work that intrigues you or the fact that they treated you well, appreciates you and still want you somewhere in their organization? 

My two cents, do it because you want to do that work, but only do it for people who are going to respect and appreciate you.  Don’t do it because they were nice to you and don’t do it if you’d rather be doing something else. 


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Offline Rollingrock

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #61 on: April 29, 2021, 07:45:37 AM »
Tom that is great to hear that they see the value not only in your work but the money your cars bring in.

To me it almost sounds like your own shop is in the near future with a deal with the dealerships as part of your business.  Do normal detail jobs and dealer prep for a fee. 

JP

Thanks for visiting the Cafe, come back often.  There's always something new!

Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #62 on: April 29, 2021, 12:27:21 PM »
To me it almost sounds like your own shop is in the near future with a deal with the dealerships as part of your business.  Do normal detail jobs and dealer prep for a fee. 

JP
One might think that, but the sad truth is that 99% of dealers could care less about true quality detailing. That may sound strange, but one thing I learned in the last year was that 99% of customers could care less. A friend of mine owns a business about an hour west of here that does mostly dealer detailing. He has about 15 employees and the auto group that bought us is one of his biggest customers. Almost none of his clients are even the slightest bit interested in paint correction. Wash it, vacuum it and slather on the glaze, then ship it back. Sound familiar?

I think the biggest decision I need to make going forward is if dealer detailing is what I really want to do to keep busy. I don't want to work more than 30 hours a week. I don't want to work weekends. And I don't want to be under a ton of pressure to "move the metal." That's what I had, but it's gone and going to be hard to find. There are a few small dealerships left around here and I may stick my head in the door at a few of them to test the waters. But there are literally hundreds of part time jobs doing other things around here that are going begging. Lot's to think about.

Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2021, 12:31:00 PM »
I thought I'd post up a few pics of my last few details and some special issues that I had to deal with. First up, here's a 2017 Tacoma with 24,000 miles on it. It looked pretty decent when I started, but even better when I was finished. It lasted less than a day on the lot.



Next up, and sitting just behind the Tacoma is a 2010 Highlander with almost exactly 100,000 more miles on it than the Tacoma. There was no way this one was going to be perfect, but I think it pops pretty good.



Now, my very last detail for Vanderstyne Toyota. It's a 2018 RAV 4 with just under 20,000 miles on it. It wasn't bad, but it was black and had a few "issues." For instance, there was this mess on the bottom of the front passenger side door:



After some serious polishing:



And the final product:



Lastly, there was this brand new Prius that the customer discovered a bit of an issue with the front passenger side door:



After some really serious polishing:



It will be interesting to see what the new outside contactor detailer can do for them going forward. I never used a drop of glaze. I think I smell some in the future.

Offline Blown F-150

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2021, 12:39:54 PM »
Great results as always Tom! Enjoy the freedom until you decided to jump into something else.
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Offline sscully

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #65 on: May 02, 2021, 11:48:23 AM »
Tom,
Sorry things got turned upside down.  I am sure you will land on your feet; in a good place.

As for 99% of dealers & 99% of customers could care less about quality detailing; you could not be more correct.

Every day that goes by having a car that is 95% + defect free is less and less important.
I would be shocked if 50% of the drivers on the road have a clue about their oil change status ( 5K over due  ).

I sound like an old man (wait I am.. :doh:) but the days of people taking care of vehicles is dwindling down. 
Steve

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2021, 10:58:42 AM »
Great work, Tom!  But what’s new?  At this point we would be more surprised if you didn’t get these results. 

I guess we will just sit back and anxiously and curiously await your next move. 


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Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2021, 11:06:33 AM »
Great work, Tom!  But what’s new?  At this point we would be more surprised if you didn’t get these results. 

I guess we will just sit back and anxiously and curiously await your next move. 


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Kind of enjoying my time off to tell you the truth. I had more stuff to catch up on than I thought. Still not even half way through my list though.

As for my next move, I'm giving some (very) serious thought to walking away from dealer detailing. I've come to the conclusion that it's going to be next to impossible to find an employer willing to truly correct paint when they can hire a high school drop out to slather on glaze - for much less money.

So what does that mean I'll do? Hell, there are so many open jobs right now because people would rather sit home and collect unemployment than actually work for a living, I should have lots of choices. Stay tuned!

Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2021, 05:56:07 PM »
I have an interview for a Detailing position at at Kia / Hyundai dealership just down the street from where I worked tomorrow. I'm not sure my heart is into it though.

Offline sscully

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2021, 08:22:18 PM »
I have an interview for a Detailing position at at Kia / Hyundai dealership just down the street from where I worked tomorrow. I'm not sure my heart is into it though.
Do you know if they care about detailing ( from seeing what you can do ) or are they another 11.75/hr to pile glaze on cars and shove them out the door ?
Steve

Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #70 on: May 06, 2021, 05:46:35 AM »
I have an interview for a Detailing position at at Kia / Hyundai dealership just down the street from where I worked tomorrow. I'm not sure my heart is into it though.
Do you know if they care about detailing ( from seeing what you can do ) or are they another 11.75/hr to pile glaze on cars and shove them out the door ?
That's exactly what I'm afraid of and I'm just not interested in doing that kind of work.

Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #71 on: May 07, 2021, 10:15:45 AM »
I have an interview for a Detailing position at at Kia / Hyundai dealership just down the street from where I worked tomorrow. I'm not sure my heart is into it though.
The interview went well yesterday. Sounds (and looks) like they're doing exactly what we used to do (just wash and vacuum) used cars for prep - except they have their own (spinning brushes) car wash. They also use one wash bay and cram 2 cars in it for detailing and final prep work. They have nobody they can trust to run a buffer or polisher and the used cars look like ours used to. When I showed the manager the process we eventually went to across the street, she said that's exactly what she wants to get to. Better yet, she was open to me training the kids how to do the interior parts so I could focus on exteriors - which you guys all know I prefer.

The next step will be seeing what they're willing to offer. She has to go to HR because I have more skills than they normally ask for. I still have some more questions to ask them before I jump on anything. Stay tuned.

Offline sscully

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #72 on: May 07, 2021, 04:40:02 PM »
Sounds promising.. Teaching the interior might be a bad idea; depends if they give a damn about doing a good job.

See what happens...  good luck with it.

Knowing how dealers are, the spinning brush car wash will give you lots of work due to the brushes never being cleaned  :wow:
Steve

Offline Rollingrock

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #73 on: May 10, 2021, 08:06:18 PM »
I thought I'd post up a few pics of my last few details and some special issues that I had to deal with. First up, here's a 2017 Tacoma with 24,000 miles on it. It looked pretty decent when I started, but even better when I was finished. It lasted less than a day on the lot.



Next up, and sitting just behind the Tacoma is a 2010 Highlander with almost exactly 100,000 more miles on it than the Tacoma. There was no way this one was going to be perfect, but I think it pops pretty good.



Now, my very last detail for Vanderstyne Toyota. It's a 2018 RAV 4 with just under 20,000 miles on it. It wasn't bad, but it was black and had a few "issues." For instance, there was this mess on the bottom of the front passenger side door:



After some serious polishing:



And the final product:



Lastly, there was this brand new Prius that the customer discovered a bit of an issue with the front passenger side door:



After some really serious polishing:



It will be interesting to see what the new outside contactor detailer can do for them going forward. I never used a drop of glaze. I think I smell some in the future.

Wow Tom, those look great dude.   As usual.  that black one, was that paint transfer for scratched? 
Thanks for visiting the Cafe, come back often.  There's always something new!

Offline Rollingrock

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Re: Adventures of a Dealer Detailer
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2021, 08:11:42 PM »
I have an interview for a Detailing position at at Kia / Hyundai dealership just down the street from where I worked tomorrow. I'm not sure my heart is into it though.
. Better yet, she was open to me training the kids how to do the interior parts so I could focus on exteriors - which you guys all know I prefer.

Tom, NONE of us like to do the interiors.   Heck, RockPick is the only guy I know who likes interiors.  I hate peoples filth.   Mind I can deal with but others...F. that.   Train the kids.   LOL. But sounds promising.   
Thanks for visiting the Cafe, come back often.  There's always something new!

 


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